Fylde YMCA scheme tackles childhood obesity

Exercise, keeping fit and eating well helps not only improve physical health but also wellbeing and quality of life.
Exercise, keeping fit and eating well helps not only improve physical health but also wellbeing and quality of life.
Promoted by Fylde YMCA

Free healthy living workshops on offer for children and teenagers across the Fylde Coast.

A series of free programmes is being offered to children and young people in a bid to get them active and eating healthily.

YMCA’s Your Move Kids and Your Move Teens are tailored programmes designed to encourage lifelong changes to families’ eating habits.

The programmes offer everything from food tasting to games and activities – all provided free of charge.

“Children and young people are a hugely important part of the work we do at the YMCA,” said Michael Harrison, from YMCA Fylde Coast.

“Exercise, keeping fit and eating well helps not only improve physical health but also wellbeing and quality of life.

“As represented by the red triangle, we believe every individual should have the opportunity to nurture their body, mind and spirit to realise their full potential in all they do.”

Your Move Kids, available at locations throughout Fylde and Wyre, helps families to overcome their barriers to weight loss, make sensible food choices and become more active.

The free 12-week programme can be accessed by families with children aged 4 to 13 who are looking for help and support with lifestyle changes.

It includes:

- Weekly games and activities for the kids

- A free goodie bag for every child

- Supermarket tours – make healthy shopping easier

- Food tasting sessions

- Recipe ideas for hassle-free everyday cooking

- Learning to read food labels the fun way

- Fun, interactive discussions teaching parents easy and effective ways to improve their child’s health and confidence

- Practical demonstrations about healthy foods, food labelling and portion sizes.

Your Move Teens supports teenagers to manage their weight while encouraging them to make healthier choices.

Again, the programme is free and runs for 12 weeks but it is designed specifically for young people aged 14 to 18.

Teenagers can attend one-to-one sessions with a qualified Your Move team member who will support them and give tips on how to eat healthier and become more active.

Your Move Teens also aims to boost self-confidence and promote a positive body image.

In a study by NHS Digital, 46 per cent of 15-year-old girls and 23 per cent of boys said they were ‘too fat’.

Of those, 34 per cent said ‘other people made fun of me because of my body weight’.

Mum Zoe, 37, has seen the benefits of both programmes first-hand.

"I was absolutely over the moon with the programme,” she said.

“Having both a 12 and a 15-year-old I was able to use both programmes.

“Seeing my kids doing the activities and hearing them laugh together sure beats them sitting in front of a screen.

“I was so pleased to have the opportunity to do this with my children."

More information on both the programmes is available on the Your Move Children and Families page.

Childhood obesity and inactivity is becoming an increasing concern across the country.

NHS Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet published by NHS Digital found in 2015/16, more than one in five children in Reception, and one in three children in Year 6 were measured as ‘obese’ or ‘overweight’ nationally.

In Lancashire, nine per cent of Reception children and 19 per cent of Year 6 children were classed as obese.

In Wyre, the figures were 10 per cent and 17 per cent respectively while in Fylde they were eight per cent and 15 per cent.

Your Move programmes aim to help tackle this problem.

However, the work doesn’t stop there.

YMCA Fylde Coast has served 12,566 young people across Fylde, Wyre, Lancaster and Cumbria.

- 85 per cent of young people who accessed Y:Body, Mind and Spirit increased their physical fitness

- 130 Y:Youth users improved their fitness, health and motivation

- 4500 leisure centre members across Fylde and Wyre are under the age of 25

Its work focuses on not just health and sport but also youth work and community projects.

The charity utilises physical activity to reach people from all backgrounds.

Y: Body. Mind and Spirit (Y:BMS) includes one-to-one sessions, group fitness activities, coaching, personal development, nutrition workshops and cooking sessions.

Y: Youth uses community spaces and facilities at YMCA Lancaster to encourage young people to become more physically active.

For more information on the work YMCA Fylde Coast is doing with children and young people visit www.ymca-fyldecoast.org/young-people.
The YMCA on the Fylde Coast is unique.

As well as having its own health and fitness centres, it works in partnership with Wyre and Fylde Borough Councils.

It has been commissioned by Lancashire County Council and Fylde and Wyre CCG, to ensure everyone has access to superb facilities and programmes, allowing them to enjoy and benefit from an active lifestyle.

With nine YMCA physical activity centres across the Fylde Coast and programmes at community venues too, there really is something for everyone.

In addition to the Your Move programmes, there are swimming development lessons, parent and toddler groups, kids activities and holiday clubs, junior and teen activities and classes for the whole family.

For more information, visit ymcayactive.org/kids-teens-families